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Delta League Track and Field Championships start today

By Will Carr Special to the Citizen, 05/11/18, 6:30PM PDT

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Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) teams will converge on Monterey Trail’s Marc Macres Memorial Stadium as they embark on the first leg of the journey they hope will culminate at the CIF State Track and Field Championships, June 1 and 2 at Buchannan High School.

The Delta League Track and Field Championships start today and EGUSD schools should figure prominently in arguably the Sac Joaquin Section’s (SJS) toughest league.

The powerhouse Sheldon Lady Huskies will headline what promises to be an exciting day of competition, as they look to solidify their lofty status as the Section and Delta League’s premier sprint program, entering the meet owning the top marks in all five categories: 100 – 200 – 400 – 4 x 100 – 4 x 100. Led by sophomore Imani Dupree and San Diego State bound senior Tai McDonald (rounding into form following a foot injury), the Lady Huskies’ formidable talent will be on full display.

The Sheldon boys, looking to make a statement of their own, will battle Grant for 4 x 100 meter relay supremacy, holding a slight edge over the Pacers at 42.17 to 42.33. Both teams are ranked first and second in the SJS.

Hurdler Nia Collins (Monterey) is the class of the girl’s hurdle field entering Friday’s final with the league’s top marks in the 100H (14.42) and 300LH (43.44) and should easily advance.

Elsewhere, Monterey Trail speedster Zach Larrier headlines the boys’ 400 meter dash final. Larrier “cruised” a 50.73 qualifier during last Friday’s prelims, but should have no problem in the final as the state’s top one-lap talent at 47.12 Teammate Camden Wheeler should hold down second with a season best 49.49. However, Pleasant Grove’s Joe Blakely (49.83) could upset the Mustang’s 1-2 aspirations.

Pleasant Grove sprinter, Patrick Acholonu is rounding into form after suffering a hamstring injury and could be a factor in the 100 meter final. Acholonu has a season best 10.83w. Don’t sleep on Sheldon’s Dillon Juniel whose 10.94 makes him a dark horse favorite. Larrier, at 21.75 should have no problem handling a good 200 field.

The distance landscape is dotted with EGUSD talent as Trail’s Ruben Garcia ranks second in the boys’ 800 with a best of 1:57.23. Garcia and Sheldon’s Ryan Bradley check in at Delta League second and third in the boys’ 1600; Garcia at 4:22.36 and Bradley 4:28.55.

Pleasant Grove’s Oliver Gates is expected to advance in the boys’ long and triple jump with bests of 22-02.50 and 45-08.50 respectively.

The final running event of the night, the boys’ 4 x 400 relay could come down to Monterey Trail (3:21.21) and Pleasant Grove (3:23.56).

Field events for today’s final begin at 3 p.m., while running events start at 6 p.m.

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